As expected Kali and Piper quickly established territories, roles, and generally worked things out. My prediction of kissy-face by the end of the first day fell a little short but they were co-existing nicely, mostly calm and relaxed, both seemingly comfortable with the situation.
What’s a Piper?
In my last post I wrote about our friends Stephanie and Dillip who would be on vacation for two weeks. Holly and I offered to take care of their one year-old Australian Shepherd, Piper, while they were gone. Even with Kali’s anxiety around other dogs I was confident that she would adjust and quickly accept – perhaps even enjoy – having Piper around for a couple of weeks.
Steph and Dillip dropped off Piper with the car seat, crib, diaper bag, doctor’s phone numbers, and blankie (their going to make great parents!…) and were off to the airport for India via Dubai. Holly and I decided to stay a lot closer to home and went to the backyard to hang out with Kali and Piper.
The two meet and greet “play” dates for Kali and Piper we had over the past couple of weeks definately made a difference. Even though Kali was not totally on board with things yet I could tell that she was familiar enough with Piper to know 1) she wasn’t a threat and that 2) that she wasn’t going to go away. So after a couple of minutes of posturing and barking – much like she did at the start of their meet and greets – Kali settled down at my feet and watched as Piper began to explore the yard. There were a few more intermittent barks especially when Piper picked up a few of Kali’s toys but overall it was pretty non-evenful as hoped and we went about our day.
Inside the house Kali would give Piper an occasional face-woof if Piper got too close. So Piper was very reserved at first and found safe haven underneath the dining room table. Then she discovered the toy box.
It was fun to watch Kali watching Piper pulling out toy after toy and taking them to her new den underneath the table. At one point Kali had enough, got up and took a toy from Piper, which prompted Piper to try to get it back from Kali, which led to running and barking in the house, which led to me pushing them out into the yard, which led to more running and – wait for it – Kali playing with Piper.
I finally got my kid to go under the Gymboree parachute! I realized I had a BIG smile on my face as I watched Kali chase after Piper with a playful bark. It was a “I’m bigger than you and and older and I’m gonna prove it to you” bark. Then Piper would stop, hunker down, pop up and begin chasing (herding?) Kali barking, “Yeah, but I’m way faster than you are, and I’m younger, and I can do this for hours.” When Kali got tired and seemed to lose interest in the game Piper would go nip her in the butt and the game would start over again. Very cool for this Dad to see his girl having fun whether she wanted to or not. 🙂 Yes, I realize this is normal behavior for most dogs so what’s the big deal, right?
Well, this IS a big deal for Kali. OK…this is a big deal for ME. And while I know it’s not supposed to be about me, this time it is.
So after almost 24 hours so far so good. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks with these Aussie and Taiwanese “Gal-Pals”.